For the cupcakes
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup of warm water
1 tbsp white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 175°C with a rack in the middle position. Prepare a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
2. In a large bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt until there are no visible clumps.
3. In another bowl, mix together the water, vinegar, vanilla extract and olive oil.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir only until they just come together.
5. Ladle the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about two-thirds of the way full.
6. Place in oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
7. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool on a rack.
8. Decorate as desired with sugar or cocoa-based butter-cream icing.
For the icing
1 cup salted butter
½ cup of unsweetened cocoa
90g of melted then cooled semi-sweet chocolate
½ tsp instant coffee
1-2 tbsp heavy cream
3¼-3¾ cups icing sugar
1. Break the chocolate into squares and melt in the microwave, slowly and carefully until they are liquidy smooth. Set aside to cool.
2. Whip the butter in your mixer until it’s light and fluffy.
3. Add in the cocoa, beating until combined.
4. When the chocolate is cool, add it to the butter. Make sure it’s cooled before adding!
5. Add the instant coffee to one tablespoon of cream, then add to the butter mixture.
6. Now you can put in the icing sugar one cup at a time, beating until combined.
7. Adjust the thickness/texture by using another tablespoon of cream, adding it slowly until the texture you want is achieved.